The British Touring Car Championship’s capacity 30-car grid completed a successful test day at Brands Hatch in the UK ahead of the first race on April 6.
More than 3000 laps were completed in the group test around the 1.2-mile Brands Hatch Indy circuit, which saw Sam Tordoff earn early bragging rights when he topped the timesheets in his first official outing for the Cobra Sport AmD AutoAid/RCIB Insurance team. Tordoff broke the series’ lap record for the Indy circuit with 47.927s.
Reigning champions West Surrey Racing fired out a warning shot to the rest of the field, storming into second and third positions during the morning running. The BMW manufacturer squad only completed the build of its brand-new 330i M Sport less than 48 hours before the test, but Andrew Jordan and Colin Turkington proved its potency immediately out of the box.
Lap times further quickened in the afternoon and it was Tordoff again setting the pace in the older shaped Honda Civic Type R. Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher’s Tom Chilton moved into second ahead of Halfords Yuasa Racing’s Dan Cammish.
“It was a mega day,” said Tordoff. “We’ve done a full race weekend simulation. This morning we carried out a free practice and qualifying run, and this afternoon we’ve completed three race runs. The Civic Type R is on the money and is without doubt the best touring car I’ve ever driven.”
The official pre-season test day at Brands Hatch marks the first collective outing for 2019’s British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) field, and enabled teams to work on their set-up and bed in new drivers and machinery.